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Fridays with Jim Korkis: Pixie Hollow



By Dave Shute

Welcome back to Fridays with Jim Korkis! Jim, the dean of Disney historians, writes about Walt Disney World history every Friday on yourfirstvisit.net.

PIXIE HOLLOW

By Jim Korkis

The Disney Fairies franchise was a new concept launched in 2005 to try to start another profitable enterprise like the Disney Princess franchise for the Walt Disney Company.

Tinker Bell and her newly created fairy friends were to focus on girls younger than the demographic for the princesses, or roughly six to ten years old, to try to compete with the Barbie franchise of Fairytopia that included DVDs, books, games and more.

(c) Disney

Pixie Hollow is located in the mountains in the north of Neverland, where all four seasons co-exist at the same time and are each presided over by a Seasonal minister. Areas include Spring Valley, Summer Glade, Autumn Forest and Winter Woods.

The entire area has been ruled for hundreds of years by the regal Queen Clarion. The Pixie Dust Tree is located at the center of Pixie Hollow and it is where the fairies get their pixie dust each day to perform their various tasks.

The franchise was supported by multiple books, games, an online presence, toys and more. In 2008, the first straight-to-video movie entitled Tinker Bell was released, introducing a wider audience to the stories of Pixie Hollow.

The Walt Disney Company felt that to better take advantage of the franchise, there should be a physical Pixie Hollow location in the Disney Parks where young girls and other guests could meet the fairies and get autographs and photos.

In October 2008, two Pixie Hollow meet-and-greet locations were opened at Disneyland, at the entrance to Tomorrowland where the previous Ariel’s Grotto was located and changing the rotating mermaid seashell into Tink’s teacup house, and at Walt Disney World’s Mickey’s Toontown Fair where other character meet-and-greets took place.

The premise was that going through the entrance to the area, guests shrunk to the size of fairies or roughly six inches tall and once they left, they were restored to their normal size.

Another version opened at Hong Kong Disneyland in January 2011 as part of that park’s fifth anniversary celebration. At all locations, guests had the opportunity to meet Tinker Bell herself and at least one of her fairy friends: Silvermist, Rosetta, Iridessa, Fawn, Terence and Vidia, and others.

The Walt Disney World location closed in February 2011 for the expansion of the New Fantasyland. The original plans that were announced for the New Fantasyland included a larger, more elaborate Pixie Hollow location, but that was abandoned along with other expansion plans including individual areas for several Disney princesses. The feedback from guests was that the plans were too “girl-centric”.

Alternate proposals then suggested including Pixie Hollow as part of Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival in the side pathway that leads to the entrance of the World Showcase. If it were popular, like other temporary Flower and Garden additions like the miniature train in Germany, it would be made permanent.

It was also suggested to become part of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, because of the film connection, but neither of these proposals happened.

Tinker Bell and her fairy friends eventually returned to Walt Disney World in July 2011 in Tinker Bell’s Magical Nook located in the Adventureland Veranda. It later closed in 2014 to make room for the Skipper Canteen restaurant. The fairies can now be greeted at the Town Square Theater on Main Street.

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Thanks, Jim! And come back next Friday for more from Jim Korkis!

In the meantime, check out his books, including his new books Vault of Walt: Volume 10: Final Edition  Kungaloosh! The Mythic Jungles of Walt Disney World and Hidden Treasures of Walt Disney World Resorts: Histories, Mysteries, and Theming, much of which was first published on this site.

 

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